Muni-mail – DWI & Related Jail Terms May Not Exceed 180 days – State v. Federico

[07/12/10 – 10:53 am] In a decision handed down this morning, the Appellate Division ruled in State v. Federico that jail terms imposed as a result of multiple traffic ticket convictions arising out of a single incident may not exceed 180 days in municipal court. The case involved a defendant who was convicted of a third offense DWI and driving on the revoked list as a result of a prior DWI conviction. The each of these offenses requires a jail term and the combination of the two terms exceeded 180 days in municipal court. However, the Appellate Division ruled that the maximum sentence to which the defendant could be sentenced was 180 days. In arriving at this holding, the Court noted that federal constitutional law would permit a sentence exceeding 180 days following the conviction for a variety of petty offenses stemming from the same incident. However, as a matter of long-standing policy, in the absence of the offer of a jury trial, 180 days of incarceration is the maximum permitted in our state for convictions of multiple petty offenses arising from the same incident.

Download a copy of the case, State v. Federico.

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